Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Baltimore Orioles, 1991 Upper Deck Stickers

Now that yesterday's Debbie Downer post has had a little time to breathe, I should acknowledge that it's actually good to be an Orioles fan these days. That's been a reality since the beginning of last season, and it still seems surreal. The Birds are 21-13, a half-game behind the Cardinals for the best record in baseball. The men in orange and black are riding a season-high four-game win streak, enabling them to tie the Red Sox for first place in the unforgiving American League East. Speaking of the East, the preseason darlings from Toronto are a full eight and one-half games back already, with several high-profile players on the shelf. Out west, the mega-bucks Angels are within sniffing distance of the league's worst record, with a shaky pitching staff, a floundering Josh Hamilton, and a gimpy Albert Pujols.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying watching the O's do their thing on a nightly basis. Highlight-reel defense, competent starting pitching, reliable relief pitching, and timely offense from a likable bunch of guys. Then there's the Fun With Arbitrary Endpoints Stats:

  • Since July 29, 2012, the Orioles have the best overall record (62-33, .653 win%) and the best home record (32-13, .711) in baseball.
  • Left fielder Nate McLouth, the namesake of my fiancee's orange and black beta fish, has reached base in 31 of his last 68 plate appearances.
  • The Birds have won 108 consecutive games when leading after seven innings, dating back to August 2011. This is a particularly goofy thing to track, especially since it allows for games to be blown when leading after eight innings. But Baltimore is closing in on the major league record of 116 straight, held by the 1998-99 Yankees. I'm willing to celebrate the toppling of any Yankee record, no matter how convoluted the calculus.
Tonight I'll be at Oriole Park in Camden Yards, in my usual roost in section 340, as Freddy Garcia tries to secure the team's first series sweep of the year. The 36-year-old is Dan Duquette's latest bargain-bin find, and naturally he no-hit the Angels for the first six innings of his O's debut last Saturday. Hopefully the home ballpark is as hospitable to his soft-tossing repertoire as "The Big A" was.

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